January 2015 Moms

SAHMs: Spam me with your resources?

SparksAZSparksAZ member
edited July 2014 in January 2015 Moms
Husband and I have made the decision to have me stay home with our three-year old and our up-and-comer. And while I'm thankful that this is an option for us, I'm pretty much a fish out of water. With my first (different relationship), I worked a lot, especially after becoming a single parent and having to make ends meet on my own -- not easy, being a teacher. I never imagined staying home. Now, with a preschooler and an infant, it makes more financial sense for me to stay home with the boys than to work.

Long story short: I need some perspective and some education. Time management, not losing my sanity, and financing. So blogs, articles, websites, books, personal stories, advice, whatever.

Edit: Words

Oh! On the flipside...did you catch that? I said BOYS. Yup, results are in: expecting a baby brother :)

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Re: SAHMs: Spam me with your resources?

  • I would either make a spreadsheet or use mint.com to track your finances. Budgeting will be your friend! Scour pinterest for ideas on how to entertain your kids. They usually have some really cool stuff for really cheap!
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  • Ok, in more serious responses....

    Agreed about budgeting.  We use mint.  It's ok most of the time.  DH has it synced to his phone and that version messes up sometimes, though.  Normally it tells us we have less money than we think (not necessarily a bad glitch all the time).

    Really the hardest part for me is finding people I can have adult conversations with.  If you belong to a church, try looking for mom groups there.  If not, the play group I'm part of for my daughter spun off of a breast feeding support group that was sponsored by the hospital.

    DH is bad about this.  And I could probably put more effort in sometimes, too, but being able to do things together became so much more important for us after we had our first and I SAH.

    Obvious things like parks for when it's not deathly hot.  I know a few days in spring my daughter loves to help plant seeds in the garden or in seed starters (not really newborn activity, though).  She loves continuing to water and watch the plants grow and it's relatively inexpensive.
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  • Congratulations!

    I have no advice for SAH with a toddler and a baby, but I agree with everyone else -- make time for adult conversation in your life.

    Time management has always been my issue. Cleaning should not overwhelm any play time, but for me it often does. So maybe make a schedule (cleaning and daily) to help if that is also an area you struggle with.

    You'll get the hang of it and be awesome! Especially since you're already preparing
  • i don't have anything new to add, just my own experience with things already mentioned.

    budgeting, yes.  we don't use a program, just a spreadsheet, but we're nerds like that. 

    also, the adult conversation.  i haven't had luck with playgroups, but i've been taking DS to "early childhood family education" classes through the school district that have been awesome (although they do cost money).  the first half of the class, the parents and kids play together in the classroom, and then for the second half, the parents go off into a separate room to talk with an instructor while the kids stay in the classroom with a couple of preschool teachers.  DS loves it and so do we.  i'm also thinking of checking out the local unitarian church.  it might not be for SO but it looks like it might be a good fit for me.

    making time for your relationship with your SO is also pretty important (and that's true when you're a working mom too, it just doesn't go away because you're staying at home).  we like to take kiddo to a drop-in daycare.  he likes playing with the other kids and the tons of toys and play equipment they have there, and it's actually comparable or maybe slightly cheaper than most sitters in the area charge, for one kid.

    and the last part, about having a messy house.  OMG.  your initial expectation is that things will be in place all the time because you'll have more time to do chores.  not so.  because, for one thing, "all that time" isn't going to be spent on chores.  a lot of it will be playing with and caring for your kids.  plus, all that stuff isn't just sitting all day.  you're actually in your house all day, using things and generally living there, so stuff gets out of place a lot faster.  cleaning is about the same, but general clutter and mess increases quite a bit.  it's ok.  it took a while for me to let go of that but it happened eventually.  my house is lived in.
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    Check into your local library for free story time.  Ours has story times for 0-3 yo and preschool aged kids where you can bring the kids in to listen to the librarian read a story, do a craft, and have a snack.  After the set story time, a lot of moms stay and let the kids play together while they chat.  I always let my guys pick a book and/or movie to bring home for the week before we go home.  Cost = $0 and gets you out of the house.  A local arts organization does free classes in my area every Friday, as well.  They have sing-along, crafts, cooking.

    There is a national organization called MOPS (Mothers Of Pre Schoolers) you might be able to find a chapter in your area that meets once or twice a month and has someone watch all the kids play together while the moms do a craft, listen to a speaker, make freezer meals, etc.
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  • Yup, like the PPs suggested, definitely make a detailed budget and stick with it, updating as often as possible.

    As far as sanity goes, make time for yourself AND for friends. Having mom friends has been an absolute lifesaver for me. Playdates are more for us than the kids most days! ;) In all seriousness though, find some locals moms or playgroups to socialize (MOPS, LLL, library story times, churches, or other kid-centered community activities are great places to meet moms, so don't be shy!).
    Also, making sure that I take a little time to myself has been so helpful. Even an hour or two in an evening to just read at a coffee shop or going grocery shopping alone on Saturday afternoon has been rejuvenating at times!
    Pinterest has a million ideas for crafts and activities, but please don't beat yourself up if you pin them all and stop there. I used to plan to do tons of activities with my kids daily, and most days, I'm lucky if my teeth get brushed. Being a SAHM is a lot more time-consuming than you might expect, so don't be disappointed in your accomplishments. Simply raisng your babies is huge and the most important thing--cooking, cleaning, or doing crafts are just bonus points! :)
  • A good resource is thebump. Hahaha.

    But I very much agree with what has already been said about moms groups and the house not being clean. That was a surprise to my husband. Washington Post just had a good article.


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  • My best advice is that I would try to budget for a cleaning person to come at least once a month if you can.

    I'm a SAHM and not at all domestic so I don't even try to do everything myself. Would crash and burn and be very resentful.

    Have regular play dates. Adult social time will be very important... Easy to take for granted if you are used to going to work every day.

    Schedule regular time "off" for yourself. Even if it's just a once a month girls day/night out, you need something to look forward to and keep a life outside of caring for the kids. In my experience anyway. Take some 'you' time for 30 mins or an hour every evening as well, while your DH does something with the kids. Even if it's just taking bath or something like that. Got to plan this shit or it tends to not happen ;) then after the kids go to bed you and DH can have together alone time, which you are more likely to enjoy if you've already had a break by yourself.
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